A Presentation of the Walker Art Center in Association with IMSOM

Featuring Kadri Gopalnath  and Rudresh Mahanthappa

Friday, 16 November, 8 PM


McGuire Theater (Walker Art Center)
1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403

Dakshina Ensemble:

Kadri Gopalnath - Alto Saxophone
Rudresh Mahanthappa  - Alto Saxophone
A. Kanyakumari - Violin
Rez Abbasi - Guitar/Sitar - Guitar
Carlo De Rosa  - Acoustic Bass
Poovalur Sriji - Mridangam
royal hartigan - Drums


Please note: IMSOM member passes cannot be used at this event.  Instead, a special discount ($4) is available to IMSOM members.

Purchase tickets online. $25 ($21 for IMSOM members)
About the Artists:

Kadri Gopalnath:

He was born in Panemangalore, in Dakshina Kannada district (Karnataka, South India) in 1950. He acquired a taste for music from his father, Thaniappa, who was a nagaswaram vidwan. Young Gopalnath once saw the saxophone being played in the Mysore palace band set. It took him nearly 20 years for him to conquer the complex western wind instrument and he was eventually crowned as the "Saxophone Chakravarthy." His achievement is especially laudatory, as Gopalnath had to make certain improvisations to the conventional Saxophone instrument in order to play Carnatic music. So perfect has this adaptation been that no less a musician than Shemmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, the doyen of Indian Music, has acknowledged Kadri Gopalnath as a true Carnatic music genius. 

Gopalnath learnt playing Carnatic music on the saxophone under Gopalkrishna Iyer of Kalaniketana, Mangalore. His dedication and tireless efforts enabled him to imbibe all the nuances of Carnatic music and the sax. In Madras, Gopalnath came in contact with the versatile mridangist T.V. Gopalkrishnan who identified the youngster’s potential and chiseled him into an internationally famed artist.

His maiden performance was for the Chembai Memorial Trust. It was a roaring success. 1980: Jazz festival, Bombay was a turning point for Gopalnath. At the festival was present John Handy, a famous Jazz musician from California. Hearing Gopalnath play, Handy asked if he could go on stage and perform alongside with him. So good did the two artist synchronize on stage, Handy in the Jazz style and Gopalnath in the Carnatic style, that it became an instant hit with the audience. And thus was born, fusion music on the Saxophone! Gopalnath has participated in the Jazz Festival in Prague, Berlin Jazz Festival, International Cervantino Festival in Mexico, Music Halle Festival in Paris, the BBC Promenade concert in 1994 at London and has toured extensively all over the world, performing in all prestigious music venues in India and abroad.

Rudresh Mahanthappa:

Guggenheim fellow Rudresh Mahanthappa is one of the most innovative young musicians and composers in jazz today. Named a Rising Star of the alto saxophone by the Downbeat International Critics Poll for the past four years, #2 in 2006, Rudresh has incorporated the culture of his Indian ancestry and has fused myriad influences to create a truly groundbreaking artistic vision. As a performer, he leads/co-leads seven groups to critical acclaim. His most recent release for Pi Recordings Codebook (September 26, 2006) was named one of the Top Jazz Albums of 2006 by The Village Voice, Jazztimes, and The Denver Post to name only a few and received rave reviews from Downbeat, Jazztimes, and Science Magazine. In Europe, Codebook received the “Choc” (highest) rating in France’s Jazzman, 4 stars in the UK’s Jazzwise, and received the “Bollino di Marzo” from Italy’s Musica Jazz. This album also reached #7 on US jazz radio charts and #1 on Canadian jazz radio charts. His previous quartet recording Mother Tongue on Pi Recordings (US release 2004, international release 2005) received 4 stars in DOWNBEAT and was named one of Top Ten Jazz CDs of 2004 by the Chicago Tribune, Jazztimes, Coda, All About Jazz, and Jazzmatazz and was additionally recognized as one of the top jazz albums of 2005 by several European publications including the UK’s Jazz Review. As a saxophonist, Mahanthappa has achieved international recognition performing regularly at jazz festivals and clubs worldwide. He has also worked as a sideman with such jazz luminaries as David Murray, Steve Coleman, Jack DeJohnette, Samir Chatterjee, Von Freeman, Tim Hagans, Fareed Haque, Vijay Iyer, Howard Levy, David Liebman, Greg Osby, and Dr. Lonnie Smith. As a composer, Rudresh has received commission grants from the Rockefeller Foundation MAP Fund, American Composers Forum, Chamber Music America, and the New York State Council on the Arts to develop new work. Mahanthappa holds a Bachelors of Music Degree in jazz performance from Berklee College of Music and a Masters of Music degree in jazz composition from Chicago's DePaul University. He now teaches at The New School University. Rudresh Mahanthappa currently lives in New York where he is clearly regarded as an important and influential voice in the jazz world. Rudresh uses Vandoren reeds exclusively. Mahanthappa is also a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow.

A. Kanyakumari: She hails from Vijayanagaram, a cultural hub in the South Indian state of Andhrapradesh. Her tryst with the violin began at a very early age during when she came under the tutelage of Vijayaswara Rao and later from M. Chandrasekharan. The watershed in her career came in 1972, when her musical genius was given due recognition by the late Dr. M.L. Vasantha Kumari (MLV). Kanyakumari went on to accompany MLV on her concert tours for the next 19 years. 

During her 1980 US tour, a Minneapolis violin collector who was amongst the audience, struck by her sterling performance, presented Kanyakumari with a violin from her collection. In 1990 Kanyakumari performed at the Tansen Utsav in NewDelhi. The celebrated Hindustani musician Ustad Amjad Ali Khan after hearing Kanyakumari's concert, in a rare gesture, draped her with the same shawl that he was honored with on the same stage. 

She has also accompanied besides MLV, flautist Dr. N. Ramani, vocalist Dr. M. Balamurali Krishna, Mandolin Srinivas and mridangist T.V. Gopalakrishnan. For the past 10 years, Kanyakumari has also been organizing concert tours in India under the banner of Vadyalahiri: an instrumental ensemble comprising a rare combination of the nadaswaram, violin and the veena. 

In 1988, Kanyakumari performed a rare feat at the Padmanabhaswamy temple in Kerala, India. She played the violin for 29 continuous hours, an unofficial world record. Commemorating Kanyakumari's 25 years in concerts, M.S. Subbalakshmi honored her with the title Dhanurveena Praveena. Kanyakumari offers free violin tuition in Madras. Prasanna, a carnatic guitarist and Embar Kannan are two of her students who are already making waves in the Carnatic music circle. 

Vadyalahiri and 25 Violins are amongst the discs that Kanyakumari has recorded.

Rez Abbasi:

Born on the Indian sub-continent, removed at the age of four to the driving sounds of Southern California, schooled at the University of Southern California and the Manhattan School of Music in jazz and classical music, as well as a pilgrimage in India under the tutorial of master percussionist, Ustad Alla Rakha, Rez Abbasi is a vivid synthesis of all the above stated influences and genres.

Rez Abbasi is considered by many to be one of the foremost modern jazz guitar players on todays scene. He has developed a unique sound both as a composer and an instrumentalist and has honed his skills with performances through out the world including multiple tours in Europe, Canada, the U.S., Mexico, and India. He has performed and recorded with many greats including, Grammy winner Ruth Brown, Peter Erskine, Kenny Werner, Barre Phillips, Tim Hagans, Marc Johnson, Billy Hart, Marvin 'Smitty' Smith, Gary Thomas, Rick Margitza, DD Jackson, Dave Douglas, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Tony Malaby, George Brooks, Pandit Ronu Majumdar, Pandit Kadri Gopalnath, Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Greg Osby and a host of others.

Among Rez's other creative projects is his long-standing association with bassist David Phillips, drummer Tony Moreno and alto saxophonist John O'Gallagher in the highly acclaimed, collective ensemble, "Freedance". Rez is also musical director and producer for Indian/Canadian Juno winning vocalist Kiran Ahluwalia's ensemble. He also plays an integral role in Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Indo-Pak Trio and Dakshani Ensemble, Dave Pietro's Quintet plus Sunny Jain's Collective among others.

With five albums of original compositions under his belt, Abbasi continues to garner new groups of musicians to help his musical vision come to life.

Carlo De Rosa:

Since moving to New York City in 1993 Carlo De Rosa has had the opportunity to work with many great artists in the Latin and Jazz World. This has led to diverse musical and cultural experiences and has allowed Carlo to work with a wide variety of artists such as Ray Barretto, Ravi Coltrane, William Cepeda, Vijay Iyer, Bruce Barth, Ed Thigpen, Nick Brignola, Mickey Roker, Steve Turre, Miguel Zenon, Hilton Ruiz, Ralph Alessi, Candido Camero, Jason Moran, Papo Vasquez and the NYC Ballet.

He currently collaborates and performs with many other great artists including: Allison Miller, Ingrid Jensen, Sam Newsome, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Mark Shim, Luis Perdomo, Dave Allen, Chembo Corniel, Lucian Ban, Andrea Brachfeld, Amir ElSaffar, and Victor Prieto.

As a US Jazz Ambassador in 1999 Carlo traveled to South Africa, Mauritius, Madagascar, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. Other performances abroad have led him to countries as varied as France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Estonia, Russia, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Holland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Argentina, Chile, Romania, Slovenia, Denmark and Ireland.

His New York Club engagements have included the Blue Note, Birdland, Zinc Bar, 55 Bar, Smalls, Visiones, Fat Cat, Knitting Factory, Detour, Smoke, Kavehaz, Sweet Rhythm, Jazz Standard, Nuyorican Poet’s Café, Tonic, Satalla, CBGB’s Lounge, Barbès, Zebulon, Iridium, Cornelia Street Café, Makor and the Jazz Gallery.

Outside of NYC Carlo has performed in venues such as: the Painted Bride, Ortlieb’s Jazzhaus, Chris' Jazz Cafe and the Deer Head Inn (PA); One Step Down, Blues Alley, Twins, and the Kennedy Center (DC); Justin’s and the Rosendale Café (NY); Churchill Grounds Jazz Café (GA); Firefly Café (MI.) and Scullers (MA).

Since earning his Masters Degree at Manhattan School of Music he has developed teaching affiliations with the Drummers Collective, National Guitar Workshop, Henry Street Settlement and Long Island University. Proficient, creative, clearly an in demand bassist, Carlo De Rosa is earning a reputation of very high standards.

Poovalur Sriji:

He is a prolific composer, performer, and educator, who studied South Indian Classical music from his father P.A. Venkataraman. For over three decades Poovalur has performed with the leading artist from both South and North Indian Classical traditions. Since his move to the United States, Poovalur has performed and recorded with artists such as Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Bela Fleck, Mark O’ Connor, John Bergamo, Glen Velez, to name a few. Poovalur has composed several pieces portraying the South Indian idioms. Poovalur has received several awards from leading institutions, and the album Tabula Rasa, where he has composed and performed with Bela Fleck, V. M. Bhatt, and J.P. Chen was nominated for a Grammy. He is the founding member of the group 'Brahma.' He founded and directs the 'SNEW' and the 'South Indian Cross Cultural Ensemble'. He is currently on the faculty at the University of North Texas. He has taught at Calarts and the San Diego State University.

royal hartigan:

He is a percussionist who has studied and performed the musics of Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas, including indigenous West African drumming, dance, song, and highlife; Turkish bendir frame drum; Japanese taiko drumming; Philippine kulintang gong and drum ensemble; Chinese Beijing, Cantonese, and Kunqu opera percussion; South Indian solkattu rhythms; Korean Nong ak drum and gong ensemble; Javanese and Sumatran gamelan; Gaelic bodhran; Native American drumming; Dominican merengue; Brazilian samba; Cambodian sampho drums and Vietnamese clapper percussion, European symphony; and African American blues, gospel, funk, hip-hop, and jazz traditions.

He obtained  the AB degree in Philosophy from St. Michael's College in 1968, the BA degree in African American music from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1981, and the MA and the Ph.D degrees in world music from Wesleyan University in 1983 and 1986 respectively.

He has taught ethnomusicology, African drumming, and world music ensemble at the New School for Social Research in New York and the Graduate Liberal Studies Program at Wesleyan University. royal helped develop and taught graduate and undergraduate courses in world music, large and small jazz ensembles, experimental music ensemble, Asian music ensembles (Philippine kulintang and Javanese gamelan), African American music history, and West African drumming and dance at San Jose State University before assuming a position as Assistant Professor in world music at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. He has taught Music Theory and Fundamentals, Western Music history, and Introduction to World Music. He currently teaches music of the African Diaspora, area studies, and World Music Survey. He has served on the music department curriculum development, the CVPA lecture series, and the University Cultural Diversity committees as well as initiating grants for numerous workshops and concerts of world music during the 1999-2000 academic year.

He has performed, given workshops, and recorded internationally with his own quartet (Blood Drum Spirit, 1997 and Ancestors 2000), Juba (Look on the Rainbow 1987), Talking Drums (Talking Drums, 1985 and Someday Catch, Someday Down, 1987) the Fred Ho Afro-Asian Music Ensemble (We Refuse to Be Used and Song for Manong, 1988, Underground Railroad to My Heart, 1994, Monkey Epic:Part 1, 1996,Turn Pain Into Power, 1997, Monkey Epic Part 2, 1997, Yes Means Yes, No Means No! 1998, Night Vision 2000), Hafez Modirzadeh's Paradox Ensemble (Chromodal Discourse, 1993 and The Peoples Blues, 1996, The Mystery of Sama 1998), the David Bindman-Tyrone Henderson Project (Strawman Dance, 1993 Iliana's Dance, 1996), and Nathaniel Mackey (Songs of the Andoumboulou, 1995). He has released a documentary and artistic video of his work in West Africa and its relation to the African American music cultures.

About the Venue:

The McGuire Theater is within
the Walker Art Center, which is located in Minneapolis at 1750 Hennepin Avenue, where Lyndale and Hennepin avenues merge. Please visit this page for directions.

This IMSOM activity is made possible, in part, by funds provided by the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council's (MRAC) "Arts Activities Support (AAS)" Grant through an appropriation by the Minnesota state legislature, the Honeywell Foundation's "Dollars for Doers" Grant, and IMSOM Members. This concert is co-sponsored by KFAI Radio (90.3FM in Minneapolis / 106.7FM in St. Paul ).

Walker Art Center Acknowledgement

For further information contact:

Shivanthi Sathanandan (651) 698-0774
Ameeta Kelekar (651) 787-0497



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